I think the appeal to being a consultant is the flexibility to experience different projects, different teams and companies. There is a downside to this flexibility and that is the uncertainty of when the next one will show up. The ambiguous nature of the beast.
About a month before the project ends, most of us start shuffling around and rooting out new projects. We spruce up our resume and start spamming recruiters and jobs. Somewhere, someone wants what you have to deliver.
You try to save a little bit of money to tie you over till the next paycheck starts rolling through.
You take on side projects so you can space things out.
What you don’t want to do is take whatever job comes through because you get angsty and inpatient. For example, I don’t do system admin work. Yes, I know my way around a server and know how to babysit but that doesn’t mean I have to take on maintaining SharePoint severs.
I also don’t do custom code. I’m not a developer. I don’t write code. Yes, I know my way around some stuff but I tend to stay out of box for basic reasons. I don’t like dependencies.
So many things can go wrong with complex code. You go down the rat hole and until you don’t know which end is up anymore.
The waiting game can be a tricky position to be in. I am still learning to breathe through all of this.
The final outcome is landing on a project because it’s interesting and peaks your passion and curiosity.
How much throughput data can one push through during a migration project. Just how much reverse engineering needs to take place before you declare it dead? How much creative license do you have to putting together user manuals?
I suppose I could take the safe road and find myself a safe government job like my mom keeps insisting I do. I tell her that what I am seeking is challenge and diversity. I am imagining a scene from the movie Brazil, where Sam Lowry works a mind numbing job. Day in and day out.
I know I couldn’t do it. Something inside of me would either wither away and die or I would go out in a blaze of destruction and glory, taking everything down with me. Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating but that’s what goes through my mind.
Always question. Always push yourself to be truthful yourself.
Focus on stuff you don’t get to do when you are heads down in the trenches working crazy project hours.
Going to spas, taking hikes, getting back into yoga.Taking time to take mini road trips and travel. Working on that novel. Contemplating your belly button. Seeking out your cat’s belly button (I recommend doing this with covered arms and or gloves). These are all things while waiting.
I’m currently waiting. I am trying not to reach for my phone every 10 minute to check if I get an email or voicemail message from recruiters. I think I need to go cold turkey. Seriously. I can be a squirrel about all of this.
Godot is a state of waiting in my opinion. You decide.